Tim Kelsey, the NHS Commissioning Board’s first national director of patients and information, is to encourage doctors and nurses and other front-line staff to learn how to program.
The new NHS information chief, and former Cabinet Office transparency tsar, says encouraging NHS staff to code will give them with the skills to work with data and help unleash a powerful and disruptive wave of innovation.
A new initiative, called Code4Health, will be one of a package of eye-catching new measures announced to encourage health professionals to reset their thinking about the power of data and information to improve patient care.
Kelsey says Code4Health is modelled on the “genius-level” US CodeforAmerica initiative, which encourages public sector workers to learn to code. NHS staff will not be expected to code replacements for National Programme for IT in the NHS-era systems.
Nevertheless, the patient and information boss hopes the new initiative, coupled with a relentless commitment to data transparency, will “unleash a wave of entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation from all quarters of healthcare.”
Kelsey told EHI that a number of eye-catching initiatives to be announced in the next few months: “We will be announcing some initiatives in the first phase that will be very refreshing and help re-launch the power of technology and its effectiveness in healthcare.”
The ex-Dr Foster Intelligence co-founder described his organisation within the new NHS Commissioning Board as “a true start-up” aiming to exploit a “unique opportunity” to harness the power of information and transparency to make the NHS a “socially relevant movement.”
He also stressed that there was much that needed to be preserved on infrastructure and NHS IT and said his role was to create an environment that will support open and transparency.
But in other areas a revolution is planned. “There are other areas where we will need to be disruptive – such as around data quality.”
Read EHI editor Jon Hoeksma's interview with Tim Kelsey in Insight.
© 2012 EHealth Media.
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